Posted in Book Reviews

Sister Eve, Private Eye: Lynne Hinton

_225_350_Book.1430.cover Sister Evangeline is a member of the Benedictine Order in Pecos, New Mexico. Lately, she’s been feeling out of sorts & disengaged from her work. Now, she’s being asked to return to Madrid, New Mexico, to care for her father who is ill. She goes, thinking some fresh surroundings may help.

Meanwhile, her acquaintance, retired Police Captain Jackson Divine, finds himself in a bind. His work as a Private Eye specializes in finding lost people. While working a case, he has a medical emergency which may call for surgery. His current case was to find Chaz Cheston, an absent Hollywood director.

Eventually, Cheston turns up dead. Endless suspects include Cheston’s mistress. Evangeline steps in to help solve the case. As she sorts through clues & lies so must also answer a more personal question: when all is said & done, will she return to her calling?

Lynne Hinton, is a NY Times best-selling author. With that being said, I guess my expectations were too high. ‘Sister Eve’ is a Hodge podge of clichés. The whole plot of the nun who wants to be a detective has been done in television & written word. Not to mention the plotline of a dead director with a mistress as a suspect. Had Eve been more closely aligned with the police force it may have made a lot more sense. But, it’s pushing it a bit to have her take such liberties to assist a retired cop.

All in all I got bored very quickly & wasn’t at all surprised in the end. This one was simply not for me. As always, if you choose, read for yourself & make you own opinion. I give it a (barely) 3 star rating.

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.

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Posted in Book Reviews

Plaza: Shane M. Brown

Archaeologists expect a certain amount of low-level danger during their investigations. Falling rock, regional ailments, bad weather- these go with the territory. When Ethan March furthers his research into the architectural phenomenon known as The Plaza, he’ll encounter a how new level of danger.
Strange happenings have plagued the research from the get-go. But soon it becomes clear that what’s really happening is that they are being hunted. Exterminated may be a better word. Detailed carvings on the plaza’s walls indicate that the ancient world had a similar issue.
As the death toll rises, Ethan’s sure of only one thing: the threat is real & he needs to stop it. Fighting unknown foes is bad enough, but Ethan will also have to deal with mutiny. Which enemy is worse- the one he knows or the one he doesn’t? To combat both, he’ll need the Plaza to give up her secrets- quickly. Can he survive long enough to discover them all?
‘The Plaza’ was published in 2012 but is new to me. I found it incredibly engaging. What began with supernatural undertones quickly became a clear-cut, rational thriller plot. I love the blend of multiple heroes, male & female, all with deeply flawed character traits.
Archaeological thrillers is often an oxymoron. But Shane M. Brown blends them together beautifully into a perfect harmony. I give it a 5 star rating & recommend it.

Posted in Book Reviews

O Little Town: Don Reid

If you’re in the market for a seasonal read, whether you’re waiting at the airport or avoiding family, ‘O Little Town’ is a perfect choice. Seasonally apropos without a huge investment of time or energy, it offers an unconventional story with heart.
It’s no secret that small towns have secrets. Some secrets may be truly confidential while others may be more well-known than folks let on. Mt. Jefferson is no different. Here we encounter a story, essentially narrated by an initially unknown narrator, of how the town dealt with the Christmas of 1958.
Each family has its own conflict & every family’s conflict involves another family. By the time we meet everyone, we realize that all their lives are unmistakably intertwined. There’s an unplanned pregnancy, health scares, lying spouses, & a whole lot of forgiveness to wade through. When you’ve finished the novel, you’ll be grateful you’re from a different town.
Don Reid makes us love Mt. Jefferson & all of its flawed, yet beautiful townsfolk. You’ll love some & want others to receive their comeuppance. Regardless of who you pick, you’ll desperately need to see how their Christmas ends.
It’s a great read that I’d recommend to anyone wanting to read a Christmas book that isn’t mundane or a copycat. It’s fresh, fun, & well-written. Five stars!

It was originally published in ’08 & is available via Amazon.